National Geographic Experts


A National Geographic expert will accompany each departure to share insights and a rare behind-the-scenes perspective. Listed below are some of the experts and the departure date(s) they will be joining.

Ford Cochran
Author, Editor, Geologist

Ford Cochran is Director of Programming for National Geographic Expeditions, selecting the writers, photographers, explorers, scholars, and staff the Society sends to destinations around the world. Over his more than 20 years with the Geographic, he has written for National Geographic magazine, served as principal contributing writer for its Historical Atlas of the United States, helped launch and directed content development and programming for the website, and documented numerous Society-funded research expeditions in the field. Ford is the featured lecturer for the new National Geographic-Great Courses college-level course Wonders of the National Parks: A Geology of North America. Ford studied English literature at the College of William & Mary and Earth science at Harvard and Yale, where he did his graduate field research on Hawaii's volcanoes and Mount St. Helens. He was an assistant professor of geology and environmental science at the University of Kentucky before joining the National Geographic staff.

Departure Dates
  • Dec 24 - 29, 2015

Jeremy Schmidt
Author, Biologist

Few people know Yellowstone country and America's national parks better than wildlife biologist Jeremy Schmidt. He has worked in and around Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons for more than 30 years, including stints as a park ranger, a naturalist, a photographer, and an author, writing several articles for National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines. He has also written several books for National Geographic, including titles on Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and the Northern Rockies. His knowledge and passion for America's national parks will enrich your experience.

Departure Dates
  • Dec 27, 2015 - Jan 01, 2016
  • Jan 31 - Feb 05, 2016

Kitty Coley
Birder, Naturalist, Geologist

Kitty Coley is a geologist, wildlife naturalist, and avid birder who has led expeditions for National Geographic for more than a dozen years, including several to Yellowstone during both winter and summer. Since Kitty was a child, she has been visiting and camping throughout Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Her lifelong love of the region has played an important role in her following the career path she has. She is deeply knowledgeable about western ecology, the parks’ unique geology, and their amazing wildlife. Kitty’s interactive and enthusiastic approach make traveling with her a delightful way for you to learn about and appreciate the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Departure Dates
  • Jan 03 - 08, 2016
  • Feb 14 - 19, 2016